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UPDATED: Forsyth County man rescued after motor parachute crash


October 05, 2012
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County Firefighters rescued a 47-year-old man from a tree Oct. 4, after his motorized parachute crashed in the north portion of the county.

The wind-related crash happened about 5:45 p.m. in the 5300 block of Shady Grove Road, said Forsyth County Fire Department Lt. Debbie Lindstrom.

"Two firefighters secured him in harness and he was able to climb down the ladder," Lindstrom told the Forsyth Herald. "He sustained no injuries."

The Forsyth County resident, later identified as Robert Branch, was reunited with family on the ground and did not require treatment.

The man had been flying his two-seater powered parachute, a parachute with a motor and wheels, when he was caught in a strong wind that led to his crash.

When fire rescue crews arrived, he was suspended 100 feet in the air, Lindstrom said.

"I think the rescue went very well," Lindstrom said. "We got him on the ground and back to his family."

Branch told Forsyth County Sheriff's investigators that he had took off from a field in the 5300 block of Shady Grove Road and he didn't notice any strong winds until his "experimental ultralight with a parachute" was already in the process of taking off, according to an incident report.

"He said that a strong wind caught him and slung him into the tree tops, where he became stuck," the deputy said.

The FAA was contacted and asked authorities not to move the plane until their investigation of the incident was completed.

Last month, a plane crash also happened on Shady Grove Road south of this incident at Lanier Drive. Two people were killed in that crash.

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